In keeping with my theme this week of self-examination, I thought I would highlight two things I found on Justin Taylor‘s blog.
The first was a post on self-promotion by Dane Ortlund. This really hits the mark and is a great provocation to us. Like many such pithy thoughts it is of course, however, one sided. There is nothing wrong with that as sometimes we do well to allow a truth, in this case “do not promote yourself” to hit us full in the face without nuancing it in that moment. If in every communication we make we try to be “balanced” we will never successfully communicate anything! So this is in no sense a criticism of Dane, who’s post I believe should be read by every Christian blogger, pastor, and well, probably every Christian.
The second item I want to highlight, however, does press us strongly on the other side of the equation. It is all too easy for humility to become false humility, and for a desire not to promote ourselves to become passivity and inaction. We are called to promote Jesus, however. We are called to be unashamedly influential for him. We are called to do everything we can to share his truth with a dying world in a way that they will accept it. We are called to let our light shine before men, to not hide our light under a bushel. In short we are told to go into all the world and with passionate energy push forward the truth of the gospel.
How can we avoid self-promotion but seek to be influential in a healthy way? John Piper says it better than anyone I have ever heard in this video clip from 2008: